The Holy See
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Berlin, 16 March 2002


Every year on our vulnerable planet, a million children are exploited sexually and for pornography. They are traded or sold just like slaves. All this because of the growing request by tireless predators of innocent children. These people are pedophiles. Evermore present in the vast world of sexual tourism.

The data gathered on the diffusion of this phenomena shows that it is in constant increase. The estimates are more and more upsetting, and the episodes of violence are scarier and scarier.

The veil of silence that has lasted for centuries has finally been ripped open. Skin curling episodes of pedophilia and sexual tourism have finally come to light and have been shown by mass media. This has shaken the public opinion and underlined the seriousness of this problem.

Today the symbiosis that connects pedophilia and organized crime has taken control over this market, and takes advantage of families and the innocence of children. These criminal organizations have created a network of illegal businesses of every kind: from accumulating laundered money to using banks and financial companies so as to recycle it. With the earnings that come in from this market, they have been able to enter into the business world and into the stock markets. They are diffusing corruption that seems to threaten the efficiency and credibility of the financial institutions themselves.

In the book, "The Archipelago of Shame. Sexual Tourism and Pedophilia" (published by Edizioni Universitarie Romane – EUR), I wanted to track a historical, social and juridical panorama of the reality of pedophilia which has endured thousands of years. It ranges from abnormality to repeated abuses in history; from incest to the analysis of deviancy, from pornography to internet and to the present laws.

The objective proposed does not intend and does not want to prejudicedly demonize those who are guilty of these crimes. Instead it underlines the urgency to find genuine civilized values with the desired prevention of pedophilia based on an precise ethical and scientific direction.

In the aforementioned book, the psychological, psychiatric and forensic aspects dealing with the sphere of "pedophile relationships" are presented. The moral and religious problematic dealing with this is also largely treated, along with the snarled mess dealing with intention and chance.

Although the book is rooted to the history of this phenomena, it was important also to mention the more modern aspects of the problem. In the chapters dealing with Pornography and Internet, Internet and blue candles, and Sexual Tourism, I tried to demonstrate the wealth of information gathered through the years of experience accumulated as the Permanent Observer for the Holy See to the World Tourism Organization.

The book was given a scientific format. It is organized using a strict itinerary that passes, as already mentioned, through the Origin of the phenomena and arrives at the consideration of the Fact, described in its more concrete manifestation.

The last part of the book is dedicated to a scrupulous description of the large Diffusion of sexual tourism and pedophilia. It includes a close analysis of all the possible Remedies which could be adopted to fight against this true social plague, such as codifying specific norms, diffusing information dealing with scientific information coming from conventions, and mobilizing international organizations.

This book was published in Italian, but soon it will come out in English. A Spanish translation is also foreseen.

It is hoped that, through this meeting in Berlin and from the many to come, from the commendable and constant diligence shown by this Task Force made up by the World Tourism Organization, Governments adopt adequate measures in favor of helping these victims, for whom the World Tourism Organization has fought for in these last years.

Thank you for your attention!